Grandma’s “Secret” for Scratch Cooking


Grandma's secret for scratch cooking |

When you hear the words “scratch cooking” or “cooking from scratch,” do you envision hours spent confined in your kitchen, slaving over a hot stove, making elaborate, time-consuming meals?

“Ain’t nobody got time for that!” is probably what you’re thinking.

More than likely, that’s probably what your grandmother would have been thinking too, especially since she didn’t have all of the modern conveniences that we have today. And yet, many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers prepared three, healthy and nourishing meals a day without tools like food processors, blenders, dishwashers, etc, and many of them even did it without modern refrigeration and electricity too!

The question is, how did Granny do it all without running herself ragged? How did she prepare meals from scratch without using the processed, packaged ingredients on today’s grocery store shelves and still have time to clean and do laundry and sew and spend quality time with her children?

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How to Eat Healthy on Vacation

How to eat real food on vacation |


Whether you’re new to the world of real food or not, chances are that the first thing you think of when you hear that word is “What on earth am I going to eat?!”

It’s pretty hard to go from avoiding foods with artificial flavors, preservatives, etc. to suddenly eating those foods at every single meal. Now that I’ve gotten used to eating real, home-cooked food on a regular basis, I can’t help thinking about the quality of the ingredients in the food I eat and wondering where those ingredients came from.

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Is It Really Healthier to Grind Your Own Grain?


Is it really healthier to grind your own grain? |

It took a long while before I finally decided to get my own grain grinder. For several months, I had debated whether it would be worth the cost and the effort, but I finally decided to just go ahead and give it a try.

Grinding your own grain is getting more popular, at least among the natural real food crowd anyways, but the question is, is it really healthier to grind your own grain? I wondered that at first but after doing some reading and some thinking there were two main reasons that finally convinced me to get a grain grinder: the freshness of the flour and the cost savings.

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Are You Stuck in a Veggie Rut? How Eating with the Seasons Can Break You Out of It

Are you stuck in a veggie rut? How eating with the seasons can break you out of it |

Maybe it’s just me, but I find that’s it’s pretty easy to get stuck in a veggie rut and end up eating the same few veggies over and over again. When I shop at the grocery store, I find myself falling back on the old standbys: carrots, onions, potatoes, lettuce, etc.

There’s nothing wrong with the standard “normal” veggies, of course, but it can get a bit boring to eat the same ones week after week. That’s why I’m making an effort this year to be more adventurous and add more variety to the veggies that I eat.

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Why I Stopped Eating Corn and Cucumbers

 Why I stopped eating corn and cucumbers |

The last time I sat down with a warm, buttery ear of corn or a crisp fresh-from-the-garden cucumber was at the beginning of October.

The reason I’m boycotting those vegetables right now isn’t because I don’t like them, though. I LOVE corn on the cob and fresh cucumbers! They’re two of my favorite veggies, actually.

The reason I’ve stopped eating them is a simple one: I live in New England, and corn and cucumbers aren’t in season locally right now. 

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The History of Margarine (And Why Butter Is Better)

The history of margarine (and why butter is better!) |

Did you know that the sale of margarine was illegal in seven states in the 19th century and that three states required that it be dyed a bright pink? And did you know that federal laws were created about the manufacture and sale of margarine and that people actually went to jail for violating those regulations?

Me neither! I had never realized that margarine’s history was so controversial until I read about some of the history of how margarine came into being. Looking at the typical grocery store shelves today, though, you’d never think that margarine was ever in disfavor. Margarine is widely accepted now and even praised as a health food, but it wasn’t always that way! 

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How to Make Homemade Yeast

 How to make homemade yeast |


For a long time, I had been confused about the subject of yeast. The only yeast I knew about was the little packet of active dry yeast or rapid rise yeast that I would sprinkle into my dough. But then I started collecting 19th century cookbooks and found recipes that called for “one gill of fresh yeast” among the other ingredients.

Once I finally figured out what a gill was, though, (about a half a cup,) I was even more confused. I would have to use how many little instant yeast packets to equal a whole half a cup?!

After doing some more research on period cooking, though, I found several recipes for how to make homemade yeast that helped to solve the mystery a bit. Most involve the use of hops or potatoes added to boiling water and flour. The problem with all of those recipes, though, is that they all call for adding “a bit of good fresh yeast” to the mixture – which was exactly what I didn’t have!

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